When was the last time you had a conversation with God?
Was it when you were a kid, kneeling beside your bed at night saying, “Now I lay me down to sleep…?”
Or maybe mindlessly rattling off 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers as your penance after confession?
Maybe it was the last time something went wrong and you yelled up to sky, “Why me, Lord, why me!”
Actually, Praying to God is Very Easy
There’s no set formula, just some guidelines. But you need to know that God is a loving God and you are His child. You can speak to Him as if you’re speaking to a loving parent that cares for you and does not want to see you suffer.
Just talk to God no matter where you are. He doesn’t care what the words are, just that they are sincere — from the heart. He also doesn’t care where you are or how you’re positioned. In other words, you don’t have to be kneeling, with your head bowed, your hands clasped and your eyes closed. (You really can’t do that when you’re driving!)
Here are some guidelines based on the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:7-13 when Jesus’ followers asked him, “Teach us how to pray.”
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6:7-13
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.”
Now, Jesus didn’t mean for us to say this prayer exactly as written. I memorized it in the King James Version — not in Spanish. But rattling it off out of obligation does nothing. That’s just what Jesus was referring to in verse 7 above (the first one).
I have prayers written down in a book because I need to remember to pray for sick friends, for the President and our leaders, as well as committing my day to Jesus so that it’s in His hands not mine.
You need to thank God for what you have — food, a roof over your head, a job if you have one, etc. — because everything you have came from God. You may think you worked for it, but God created everything and he allowed us to work for what we’ve got. Everything belongs to Him and we are just the caretakers while we are on earth.
Growing up Catholic, I don’t remember ever saying grace before dinner. Maybe at Thanksgiving, but it was not a tradition in our house. Today, I thank Him for every meal. Each morning I thank Him for a new day, a good night’s sleep, my home, my car and food in my kitchen.
Then you can ask Him for things, help, whatever is heavy on your heart for yourself or a family member or friend in need. The more open you are with God, the better.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”Jesus in John 14:13-14
God is All-Knowing
But if He is supposed to know everything, why do we need to ask? Yes, he knows you and what’s in your heart, but He wants us to recognize His power (“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever…”) and to lay your needs at His feet — showing humility. When you do that, Jesus takes them off your shoulders and you’ll feel the weight lifted. That is what trusting God is all about.
You can also pray the scriptures. Many of the Psalms are just that — prayers. I take various passages and write them out as if it were me speaking and asking.
There are also many Bible studies in the Bible App that can help you get the prayer thing down.
But remember, praying is just talking to God, your Father – “Daddy”. He loves you unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done – God loves you.
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone be the Glory!
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.”
Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…
- Start reading the Bible daily to get to know God. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great Bible studies.
- Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
- Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!